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Friday, October 17, 2014

Kurds Taking It To The Islamic State

Links: Islamic State Suffers Losses In Kobani
            Turkey Waits And Watches

We could all use a bit of good news.  I am pleased to observe that the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State in the Levant (IS) has really made an impact, at least for the Kurds and the poor still stuck in Kobani. 
I had hoped that the Turks would have moved in by now, and wiped out the IS forces with a massive armor blitz, but it hasn't happened.  Believe me, the Turks are more than capable of sweeping up IS like an ardvaark finishes off an anthill (language lesson: aardvark comes from the original Afrikaans work "erdvark", which translated means "earth pig"; I dig Afrikaans).  Instead, the good
 www.mirror.co.uk
www.mirror.co.uk
guys have to rely on the Kurds to defend Kobani, and they will, to the last man or woman.  Thursday's solid, well-timed and well-targeted air strikes proved what can be accomplished with air power alone.  On the other hand, it demonstrated the importance of ground forces.  Rats like the IS love to dig holes in which to hide.  The U.S. Army learned a great deal in World War Two and in Vietnam about the digging of holes and tunnel networks that can reach for miles.  It demonstrated the usefulness of the flame thrower, that's for sure.

According to the first link, the IS now controls only 30 percent of Kobani, as opposed to yesterday's 50 percent.  Interestingly enough, the IS has not made use of any of the armor that it has captured over the past six months.  My sources tell me that the fighting in Kobani has been house-to-house, street -to-street.  Booby-traps and all variety of homemade mines and other exploding weapons are being used.  The IS units are well-armed, although as should be expected they carry a wide variety of weaponry.    I'm hopeful that the air campaign alone can lift the siege of Kobani.  Obviously ground units are needed, but the Kurds are still there, and if we can get the IS to abandon Kobani, it should be a victory.  Why?  Not for the obvious reason that we liberated a town from those hateful bastards, but because it proves the usefulness of an air campaign in disrupting the flow of supplies and replacement troops to the battlefield.  Its great to see video clips of U.S. bombs taking out an IS outpost, but the analytical guy in me is much more interested in how successful we have been disrupting their flow of supplies.  Every army, no matter how small, needs supplies and needs to eat.  Deprive the IS of this element, and the citizens of Kobani will wake up in the morning with a particularly nasty stench removed from the air . . . the IS will be gone.

A couple weeks back I wrote a post about the defense of Baghdad.  It has been one of the more popular posts since I began this blog in late August.  I received a number of fascinating emails, and I would like to encourage folks to make these comments here on the blog (at the end of each post) or on Twitter @mukhabaratbaby, so we can get a conversation started.  I can't think of anything more interesting than for all of us armchair generals to plan the defense of Baghdad together!  Back to the post I mentioned . . . I believe the key to defending Baghdad is the proper use of air resources.  Once the IS raised its black flag in Fallujah, the allied air forces should have been on top of them like Bill Clinton on a pair of XL panties.

The IS is using the same strategy in Anbar as it has used in northern Iraq and in Syria.  They like to be mobile, and they strike quickly.  Once the IS has a foothold in the bedroom communities of Baghdad, the only way to save the capital city is with U.S. ground troops, which we know won't happen.  So we have to look at the battle map and decide how best to halt the IS advance from western Anbar.  My sources tell me that the IS is already implementing its version of law, courts, etc., in the recently captured Anbar communities.  If these guys are out in the streets, parading around, staging the odd public execution, then where is the allied air force? I realize that towns like Fallujah and Ramadi guarantee collateral casualties, but this isn't the time to nit-pick.  Let's just do our best to avoid civilians, and lets rain havoc down on the IS.  We need to come at them, day and night, no schedule, so they have no opportunity for sleep.  Anything that remotely resembles an IS vehicle should be a target.  One thing to keep in mind, any resupplying of IS in western Anbar cannot be done unobserved.  Its a bloody desert, for goodness sake.  I know, I've been there.  I've had that sand up my ass, and I've seen it from the air.  Granted, the IS will take what it needs from the local Sunni population.  But the key is, to not give the IS the time it needs to seed the poorer Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad with operatives.  I realize we may be too late, but since we are still playing the game, lets play to win.

2 comments:

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  2. Since we seem to announce our war plans to the whole world prior to attacks, will we ever have the advantage of surprise. And do you think this country will ever relentlessly nail them from the air, instead of 4 or 5 times a day? I don't see Obama being that aggressive outside of his golf game.

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